The UFC matchmaking has been solid lately with tough-to-call fights between similarly ranked fighters. But that’s not the case for UFC 266 as this event, from the main card to the early prelims, is chalk haven per the UFC betting odds.
Of the nine fights preceding the main UFC 266 fights, we picked four fights that not only feature value on the betting lines but are significant matchups between title challengers and must-watch prospects
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 25
- Times: 6 p.m. ET (Early Prelims), 8 p.m. ET (Prelims), 10 p.m. ET (Main card)
- Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV, United States
- Watch on: ESPN+, ESPN, Pay-per-view
UFC 266 Undercard Picks
Jessica Andrade vs Cynthia Calvillo
Moneyline: Jessica Andrade -260, Cynthia Calvillo +200
Total: Over 2½ (-145), Under 2½ (+115)
Weight Class (Rounds): Flyweight (125 lbs) (3 Rounds)
Jessica Andrade (21-9-0) kicks off the PPV as she looks to rebound following her one-sided defeat to champion Valentina Shevchenko. The top-ranked contender has a favorable set-up here against Cynthia Calvillo (9-2-1), who is primarily a grappler and has consistently lost against top-three opponents.
Andrade’s grappling is solid and she’s just as strong if not stronger than Calvillo. She should be able to keep this fight wherever she wants. But regardless where it goes, Andrade can beat up Calvillo en route to a clear-cut decision or a late TKO.
Pick: Andrade -260
Marlon Moraes vs Merab Dvalishvili
Moneyline: Merab Dvalishvili -260 Marlon Moraes +200
Total: Over 2½ (-200), Under 2½ (+160)
Weight Class (Rounds): Bantamweight (135 lbs ) (3 Rounds)
The “fade brigade” has been heavy against former title challenger Marlon Moraes (23-8-1) here. He opened at a pick’em price but is now up to +200 with one-sided action focused on his opponent, Merab Dvalishvili (13-4-0). Moraes has lost three of his last four and his only win was a contentious split decision.
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But Moraes is one of the fastest starters in the UFC and has a trio of first-round finishes to his name. Dvalishvili is hittable and error-prone and can get caught by Moraes. Even if Moraes can’t finish him, he could do enough damage in the first two rounds to eke this one out. Fade the public here and bet Moraes.
Pick: Marlon Moraes +200
Dan Hooker vs Nasrat Haqparast
Moneyline: Dan Hooker -145, Nasrat Haqparast+115
Total: Over 2½ (-140), Under 2½ (+110)
Weight Class (Rounds): Lightweight (155 lbs ) (3 Rounds)
Dan Hooker (20-10-0) is coming off two brutal defeats but fighting Nasrat Haqparast (13-3-0), who has won straight, is still a step down in competition. Hooker should be able to keep this fight standing and light up Haqparast even if his durability is not what it once was.
Betting online on Hooker is a solid play at this price if it happens. Both fighters are having issues securing passage to the U.S. so stay tuned. But this fight could just win the “Fight of the Night” as both men stand and trade to a decision. With how durable both are, the over 2.5 rounds is an even better play.
Pick: Over 2½ Rounds (-140)
Uros Medic vs Jalin Turner
Moneyline: Uros Medic -125, Jalin Turner -105
Total: Over 1½ (-165), Under 1½ (+135)
Weight Class (Rounds): Lightweight (155 lbs)
Two hot prospects clash to close out the early prelims portion of UFC 266. Medic (7-0-0) and Turner (10-5-0) are finishers looking to crack the top-15. The sportsbook has Medic as the likelier winner here and it’s thanks to his speed and power. Turner, a massive 155er is cutting a lot of weight, which could affect his endurance and durability.
Medic could blitz through Turner and land bombs fast and often to put him away. Or Turner could also expose the untested prospect by surviving his onslaught and dragging him to deep waters for a submission. Either way, this fight may not go past the first round so the plus-money on the under is the bet to make.